September 17, 2019

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Termination of TPS Halted for Honduras and Nepal

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has agreed to stay the termination of temporary protected status (TPS) for Honduras and Nepal pending the outcome of Ramos v. Nielsen. In addition to the stay, DHS has also agreed to extend the validity of employment authorization documents for TPS beneficiaries from Nepal through March 24, 2020.

The announcement was made in the Federal Register pursuant to the terms of a court order of the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California in Bhattarai v. Nielsen, a case challenging the termination of TPS for Honduras and Nepal. Because the issues raised in Bhattarai so closely mirror those raised in Ramos (a similar case that challenges the termination of TPS for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan), the parties in Bhattarai agreed to stay the proceedings pending the outcome in Ramos. For now, this means that DHS may not enforce or implement the termination of TPS for any of the six affected countries covered by the Ramos and Bhattarai lawsuits (El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan).

Automatic Extensions of TPS-Related Documents While Ramos Is Pending

Currently, TPS beneficiaries from the affected countries are authorized to stay in the United States and continue working through the dates listed below (assuming the beneficiary continues to meet eligibility requirements for the program). DHS will publish a notice in the Federal Register approximately 45 days prior to the dates listed below, automatically extending the validity of TPS-related documents (including employment authorization documents, Form I-797 approval notices, and Form I-94 arrival and departure records) for beneficiaries from each affected country if Ramos has not yet been decided.

Country Good Through Date
El Salvador January 2, 2020
Haiti January 2, 2020
Honduras January 5, 2020
Nepal March 24, 2020
Nicaragua January 2, 2020
Sudan January 2, 2020

Post-Ramos Transition Period

If DHS is ultimately allowed to proceed with the termination of TPS, for any or all of the countries, the agency will provide a transition period to allow for the affected TPS beneficiaries to get their affairs in order. TPS designations for the individual countries would end the later of either:

  1. 120 days following the issuance of any mandate to the district court, or
  2. on the previously announced termination date for the respective country.

The table below provides a list of the original termination dates for each country.

Country Original Termination Date
El Salvador September 9, 2019
Haiti July 22, 2019
Honduras January 5, 2020
Nepal June 24, 2019
Nicaragua Already Passed  (November 2, 2018)
Sudan Already Passed (January 5, 2019)

For the countries with original termination dates that have already passed, termination would be effective as of the expiration of the 120-day period.

Next Steps

The Federal Register notice provides detailed information, benefitting both employees and employers, about how to address the automatic extension of employment authorization documents. The notice provides employees with information about what documents they must present to their employers to substantiate their eligibility for the extension. The notice also provides employers with information about how the automatic extension affects the Form I-9 and E-Verify and what steps must be taken, if any, to satisfy their employment verification obligations.

© 2019, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.

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About this Author

Associate

Melina has extensive experience in a broad range of immigration law, with a focus on employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant visa petitions. Melina’s practice includes partnering with multinational corporations on all types of US migration matters in a wide range of industries including engineering, manufacturing, information technology, oil and gas, and construction. Specifically, Melina counsels her corporate clients on immigration matters before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the U.S. Department of State.

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919-789-3241
Melissa Manna, Ogletree Deakins Law Firm, Raleigh, Immigration Practice Group Writer
Immigration Practice Group Writer

Melissa Manna is an Immigration Practice Group Writer. Her primary focus is writing and editing legal articles relating to immigration for the firm’s online and print publications, websites, and newsletters.

Prior to joining Ogletree Deakins, Melissa spent 9 years as in-house counsel at TowerCo, one of the largest independent wireless tower companies in the U.S., representing the company in all aspects of commercial real estate. During that time she managed due diligence, advised and implemented risk management solutions, and closed transactions valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Before TowerCo, she was an attorney with Alan Gordon Immigration and Naturalization Law in Charlotte, NC, representing large and small companies, investors, entrepreneurs, and families in all stages of the immigration process. She regularly appeared before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to advocate on behalf of clients, as well as the EOIR Immigration Court in Atlanta to defend clients against removal and deportation.

Melissa received her J.D. from Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson School of Law and her B.A. in Journalism from The College of New Jersey. She is licensed by the North Carolina Bar.

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